Re-use your Christmas trees after the holidays

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FISHERSVILLE—When the holidays are over, you could chuck your Christmas tree into the woods or take it to the dump, but there are plenty of ways you can repurpose it.

Horticulturalist Mark Viette in Augusta County is no stranger to reusing items in his landscape, including his Christmas trees. Viette appears on Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s weekly television program, Real Virginia.

One way to reuse evergreen trees, Viette said, is to set them out in your garden. He recommended putting a tall post into the ground and securing the tree trunk to the post to hold it upright.

“The reason this is a good thing to do is it gives a place for birds during the winter months to hide,” he said. “This is really great if you don’t have any evergreens in the garden.”

Consider decorating the tree for the birds by hanging strings of cranberries or popcorn, bird seed bagel rings or slices of fruit from the boughs.

Viette also suggested putting the tree near a bird feeder, as it will provide birds with cover from predators. In the spring it will be ready for the kindling and compost piles.

Additionally, leftover evergreen branches from holiday decorations can be used to protect plants in the garden, Viette said.

“Take evergreen boughs, and lay them over tender plants such as chrysanthemums. One to two layers over plants helps keep some of the heat in the ground. These boughs make wonderful blankets for the plants.”

They also can protect over-eager daffodils that sometimes pop up during a warm spell in the winter, and they can help protect evergreen perennials from winter burn during cold, dry days in January and February.

Media: Contact Sara Owens, VFBF communications, at 804-290-1133.

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